Robin wrote this wonderful explanation particularly for the TVWS (Treasure Valley Wine Society) Board, but I think it needs to be read by a wider audience. And, she is certified in cheese knowledge. There is a photo at the end of the article of the cheeses she is talking about. Enjoy!
TVWS Board mtg. May 24
USA Cowgirl Creamery Petaluma and Pt. Reyes station – Organic Mt. Tam
$29.99/ lb Cows milk
French St. Andre Triple Cream Brie from near Burgundy, France
$14.99/lb…. Cows milk
La Tur Caseificio dell Alta Langa, Italy
Pasteurized Cow, Goat and Sheep 3 milk Soft ripened cheese.
Bread $2.49 Grapes $8.50 @$3.99/lb
Broadbent Selection NV Vino Verde $8.99
Macedon 2015 Pinot Noir – Macedonia north of Greece. $14.99
Americans consume 33lbs of cheese/year
There are 2000 varieties of Cheese first made ~ 8000 BC. Some Milk was stored in the stomach of an animal which added rennet and by jostling the milk separated into curds and whey. Animal sources of milk include not only cows and goats, but also sheep, water buffalo, yaks, camels, horses and reindeer.
FRESH: cream cheese, ricotta, mozzarella, feta, chevre.
SEMI SOFT: provolone, gouda, port salut, havarti, fontina, raclette, comte.
SEMI HARD: cheddar, edam, swiss, gruyere, emmental, parmesan, asiago, Pecorino Romano.
WASHED RIND: munster, limburger, tallegio, salt brined and bloomed rind – Brie, Camembert.
BLUE: Maytag, Gorgonzola, Stilton, Roquefort.
Accompaniments: grapes, dates, nuts, figs, herbs and pepper. ”
“A meal without some cheese, is like a beautiful woman with only one eye.” (Brillat-Savarin 1700’s)
“The moon is made of a greene cheese.” (John Heywood 1546) But in 1546 greene meant unaged, not green in color.
And here’s Robin’s information on Cheese Tasting –
Observe: color, texture, shape, condition. Descriptors: smooth, rough, sticky, downy, soft, hard, creamy, grainy, cylindrical, wedge, crumbs, slices, moist, dry.
Olfactory: smell the aroma: fresh, milky, fruity, mushroomy, earthy, floral, toasted, spicy, nutty, cauliflower-like.
Taste-slowly sample to release flavors. Consider flavors, textures and any lingering aftertaste. Descriptors:acidic/sharp/ tart, sweet, sharp, salty, bitter, creamy, yeasty, malty, fruity, robust, caramel, custardy, toasty, peppery, zesty, spicy, tangy. Texture: open or closed, soft, hard, firm, gritty, grainy, crumbly, chalky, springy, smooth, meaty.
Take notes: use a simple point rating score system. ie: 0-4 for poor, ok, good, great, sensational.
With wines look for a: compliment – Brie with sparkling , contrast – Blue with dessert wines, or clash – Blue with red table wines may leave a metallic aftertaste.”